Even though Dr. Stephen Smith, Neurosurgeon at North Central Neurosurgery, was born in the Philippines on Clark Air Force Base, he has lived in the South Bend/Michiana area since he was five years old. This Penn Kingsman turned Neurosurgeon also has subspecialty training in spinal surgery.
For a time in his life, it seemed as though Dr. Smith was competing for his very own “Old Oaken Bucket” trophy. He received his Master’s Degree in Biology from Purdue University and then went on to earn his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. After earning his medical degree from IU, Dr. Smith went to the University of Kansas School of Medicine for his Neurosurgery residency and then to Semmes Murphy Clinic and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center for a Spine Fellowship. Dr. Smith has worked at North Central Neurosurgery (a group that was initially formed by Dr. Tom Keucher, Dr. Bob Yount and Nancy Coleman) since completing his fellowship in 2005.
In his office, Dr. Smith is known for being an overachiever and a perfectionist. He jokingly admits that he can sometimes “belabor important points tirelessly.” But if we are completely honest with ourselves, we can probably all agree that “overachiever” and “perfectionist” are actually two qualities that we want in a neurosurgeon. And speaking of overachieving, Dr. Smith is the first in his family to go to college. (did we mention that he wanted to be a Neurosurgeon even then?) Perhaps we should also add “determined” to his list of personality traits.
When asked about his favorite aspect of being a physician, Dr. Smith humbly states, “I just love being a doctor and I am thankful to be able to contribute to the health of our community through Neurosurgery and particularly spinal surgery.” Outside the operating room, Dr. Smith has “both a wonderful son and daughter. They are a large light in my life and I could not be any more proud.”
Dr. Smith is an active member of the North American Spine Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. His hope for the future of healthcare is that “we see patients as humans in need, and not just merely customers. I value purpose, laughter and life. My hope is that the push for process improvement occurs in ways that are consistent with patients’ needs. I pray that all parties involved have the humility to amicably solve these difficult issues.”